Iden Village Voice

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n The Mobile Library will be at the village hall on Monday from 12.05 to 12.45pm.

n Next Friday, February 24, at 7.30 pm in the village hall, Iden and District Natural History Society will have a meeting when Sue Scriven will give an illustrated talk about Peru. Unless you are a member, the cost will be £2.50.

n Ryesingers present The Pirates of Penzance in Rye Community Centre next Friday and Saturday at 7.30 pm. Tickets are £8 from Martello or at the door.

n Have you noted in your diaries that there will be a Spring Concert by Iden Singers in Iden Church on Friday 30th March? Please do.

n There will be a report of the Iden and Playden Garden Society meeting in next week’s column. Thanks are due to Mr. Michael Miller for the following Parish Council report.

n Iden Parish Council met on Tuesday 7 February at which 4 Parish Councillors were present, together with District Councillor Nick Ramus. Apologies were received from Parish Councillor Chris Wood (work commitments), County Councillor Keith Glazier and District Councillor Paul Osborne. There were also 15 members of the public present

n Before the meeting commenced, Police Community Officer Dan Bevan gave an update on the serious crimes that had occurred in the village during the past year. In his introduction, the Chairman had mentioned that up to the start of last year, Iden had been relatively crime free, but in the past 6 months had experienced some quite alarming situations with 4 burglaries, the break in, vandalism and theft at the Sports Pavilion, the robbery of a 99 year old lady in her own home and finally the ram raiding of the local shop. All this was undoubtedly raising residents’ fear of crime, which the police had been targeted to reduce. In reply Dan advised that men had been charged with receiving stolen property from on the houses burgled, but no one has to date been either charged or convicted for the burglaries. He admitted that although ram raids on small shops a few miles away in Kent had been going on a few days before Iden stores was hit, the Kent Police had not advised Sussex to warn their own shopkeepers. This clearly was of concern.

The public was assured that the Police have stepped up their surveillance using unmarked cars and in particular elderly residents have been offered “ No cold calling” stickers for their windows and advice on how to keep safe. It has been suggested that Iden team up with Playden to become a “ Cold Calling Free Zone” which would in turn enable road signs to be installed to this effect.

Residents are also warned about the theft of car number plates and advised that the Police Station has a supply of free lock in screws which are available on request- the fitting of these on number plates will mean it will be harder for them to be stolen. All in all these are worrying times for the public who were advised to report to the Police anything seen as being suspicious, particularly cars going round the village in the early hours of the morning. Dan’s telephone number is 0845 60 70 999 Ext. 19186 Mobile: 07796 195639. As it is important that residents are kept up to date, Dan will now produce a monthly report which will be displayed in the Shop and on the Village Notice Board. Speed checks are being carried out in the village at regular intervals and residents were advised that it is expected that the Council will hear news of the review into the reduction in the limit by the County Council very shortly.

The lack of progress in completing the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme for Iden has been disappointing and a drive will be made by the Police and the Council to have arrangements up and running as soon as possible.

Dan was thanked for attending and was assured that the Council and residents remain totally supportive to the Police in their efforts to eliminate crime and thus reduce the unease that unfortunately has become a feature in recent months.

n With regard to Planning matters, the Council agreed to support the recent application by Iden Park. Councillor Ramus gave an update on the appeal for Mi Cottage when it was agreed that the Parish Council would write to the Head of Planning. Planning consents have been received for the pond at the Bell field and the Solar Panels at Oxenbridge.

n A discussion ensued regarding the need to update the Village Plan and report progress to the District Council. It was agreed that the community needed to be involved in contributing to the revised plan and this will be taken forward

n Disappointment was expressed that at long last the Parish Maintenance Team had visited the village, albeit unannounced but had only been able to complete a few of their scheduled tasks. It was agreed that it was not ideal for the Team to visit in the winter months and attempts will be made to reschedule this next time. It was noted that although they had done so in the past, the Team is not allowed to work on Parish owned property such as the playing field.

n Councillor Ramus gave a report and said that Rother in an effort to protect funds and services was considering raising its take from the council tax by 3.5%, thus forgoing the government grant which would enable this to be frozen for the coming year.

n Following the questionnaire, to which there was around a 25% reply rate, it has been agreed that there will be a Picnic in the Playing Field on Monday 4 June from 2-5 pm to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

n The next meeting will be on Tuesday 6 March 2012 at 7.30pm in Iden Village Hall. The Annual Parish Meeting will be on Tuesday 1 May - it is hoped that before this the Council will be able to issue an annual report for distribution to every home which will include an invitation to the Annual Meeting. This will be very much a social occasion to encourage attendance.

n The Friends of Iden Church will be holding a Quiz Night at the Old Hall on Friday 9 March at 7.30pm Tickets are just £5 each . Details will be available in the Shop

n The mid-week services will be at 9.30 am and 3.30 pm on Tuesday. Next Wednesday, 22nd, is Ash Wednesday, when the service at 7 pm will be at St. Michael’s, Playden. The 9.30 am service for the next Sunday before Lent will be Parish Communion lead by the Vicar.

MARION LOVELL

Abingworth

New England Lane

Playden